Baseball great Tommy Lasorda once said, “There are three types of baseball players: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happens.”
Bond Babin certainly falls into the first category. Everywhere Babin has played baseball, success has followed.
Babin, who grew up playing baseball in Zachary, wrapped up his playing career on May 13 when the LSU at Alexandria Generals were eliminated from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics baseball tournament with a 10-2 loss to Freed-Hardeman, a school in Tennessee.
Babin was a member of the Zachary Broncos’ Class 4A state champion baseball teams in 2007 and 2008. He later played for two seasons at Baton Rouge Community College, earning All-MISS/LOU Junior College Conference honors, then moved on to LSU-A.
The 5-11, 175-pound senior was named to the All-Red River Conference first team as a second baseman this year. In 53 regular-season games this season, Babin had a .333 batting average with 46 RBI and 64 hits, including 5 home runs. The Generals had a great year, with a record of 40-16 overall, and won the regular season title in the Red River Athletic Conference.
In the RRAC Tournament, the Generals finished as runners-up to LSU-Shreveport with a 5-3 loss in the championship game. Both teams advanced to the NAIA National Tournament.
In the Kingsport Regional round — a tournament structured much like the NCAA Tournament with regional qualifier — the fourth-seeded Generals opened with a 9-4 victory over Judson College. Babin had a double and knocked in a run in the game. In the next game, a 3-2 loss to top-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan, Babin went 1 for 4, scoring a run.
The Generals were then held to just five hits in a 10-2 loss to third-seeded Freed-Hardeman, eliminating them from the tournament. Babin got on base twice after being hit by pitches. Despite the disappointing ending to the season, Babin said he had a great experience during his two years at LSU-A.
“I didn’t expect to go to LSU-A, but when coach (Brent) Porche got there, he started recruiting me and I saw how he turned the program around,” Babin said. “He brought a winning attitude to the team and he was a young coach, a players coach. It was a great atmosphere to play baseball.”
The Generals made it to the NAIA Tournament both years Babin played for Porche, also falling in the regional round in 2014. Babin had a .303 career batting average at LSU-A with 117 hits and 103 runs scored in 110 games.
“Bond is a guy that embodies the mold of the type of player we try to recruit,” said Porche, who led the team to its first three winning seasons in his years as coach. “He plays all out all of the time. For me, it was very rewarding coaching him. I saw him grow as a person and mature and become a leader for our program on and off the field. It is good to see as a coach — to see him grow up and become a man.”
Babin credits his coaches throughout his playing career for helping him develop into the kind of player he was able to become. They include Jack Leiva, his Little League coach; Jesse Cassard, his coach at Zachary High; L.J. Dupuy, his coach at BRCC; and Porche.
“They all helped me grow as a person and become a better player. I can’t say enough about my coaches,” Babin said. He said he stays in contact with Cassard, visiting the high school’s field frequently.
“He taught me the most about the game; he helped me the most,” Babin said of Cassard.
Babin will graduate in the fall after completing an internship at a nursing home facility in Central. His major is elder care administration, and he said he plans to get into the health care field once he graduates.
As far as baseball goes, he said, “I’ll always stay around the park. I like coaching kids now.”
And baseball also has given him plenty of quality friendships. He said he’s great friends with Adam Michel, who played center field with the Generals, and he stays in touch with teammates from Zachary, too, like Cade LeBlanc, who pitched for Southern University.
“I thank my parents and my family for supporting me all these years,” said Babin, who likes to hunt and fish and play golf in his spare time. “And my coaches and my friends — I had a great time playing baseball.”
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